This column marks my second year writing for St. Charles Avenue, and like my fist year, I’ve learned so much about our wonderful city. As I’ve said before, New Orleans has been a huge influence in my writing. I have written about all different aspects of the Big Easy, the architecture, the music, the parties, and most importantly, the people. I once referred to our city as a “magnet” because no matter where you live at the moment, if you were raised in New Orleans chances are you’ll come back. This city is so unique that once you grow up here it’s very hard to call someplace else home.

I have lived in a handful of cities other than New Orleans and I never felt settled anywhere but here. Right about the time I started writing for the Avenue I had just started a long distance relationship with my now husband. As his graduation neared I became nervous – he had worked so hard for his graduate degree and I wasn’t sure New Orleans had enough opportunities in his field. When I brought up my feelings about this he said, “There’s no question; I’m moving to New Orleans. I’ve lived a ton of places and New Orleans is by far the most welcoming to an outsider. I feel very at home there.”

So two years later as I sit here doing something I love, married to someone I love and living somewhere I love, I have to thank this great city for making it all possible. You have been my inspiration for writing and the reason my husband and I now reside here. We are truly blessed to live in a city where people from all over feel comfortable calling home.

Charlotte Laborde celebrated her first birthday with a pink-and-white themed “Beeday” party, which was hosted by her parents Brian and Elisabeth Laborde at their home. The menu included mini grilled cheese sandwiches, beehive cake pops and cupcakes from Mandeville Bake Shop. The adults sipped on “stingers,” the signature cocktail, and went home with pink sidewalk chalk shaped like bumble bees.

The World Trade Center of New Orleans board members and committee members gathered at the Plimsoll Club for a preview party discussing the details of the “Louisiana International Trade Gala.” The gala will be held on October 11 at the National World War II Museum and will celebrate the Louisiana International trade community. During the black-tie event, Senator Mary Landrieu will be honored with presentation of The World Trade Center’s Eugene J. Schreiber award. After the sit down dinner, a silent auction will be held where guests can bid on artifacts from the former World Trade Center Building. For more information about the gala, visit

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